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The Most Important Job
in the World.
I wrote about the misplaced value that we put on certain jobs. The highest value in our capitalist system is placed on those jobs that can help corporations make more money. I was a major computer nerd growing up. I was in the AV club, took the first ever “computer literacy” class our school ever offered, and in wood shop, I made a wooden box to hold my 5.25” floppy discs with Apple IIe games, bought and pirated. I think in some ways, I enjoyed collecting the games more than I liked playing them. It was not considered cool.
Now, nerds are cool? Why? Well, because we help companies make money. Algorithms are like magic that can split test and machine learn their way to massive profit. Executives, product folks, and marketers are all looking for the next big algorithm. The next SEO or ad-tech platform, next viral video application, or next Uber of whatever. People are hunting for unicorns and they need the visionaries, designers, and engineers to craft them.
Meanwhile, “Barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen” has become an offensive and derogatory term. It is thematically similar to Kinder, Küche, Kirche (children, kitchen, church) from the German Empire, which was used by the Third Reich in their propaganda, which was definitely not good PR.
However, child rearing, cooking, and cultivating spirituality are beautiful things. Not just for women - a man barefoot in the kitchen is also beautiful. Today, people are treating relationships as a zero sum game, and society as a competitive game to “have it all.”
The most important job in the world is to be a parent. Raising children. “It takes a village to raise a child,” and there are 15.76 million children living with a single mother in the United States, and about 3.23 million children living with a single father.
Reshma Saujani, CEO and Founder of Girls Who Code, has proposed a Marshall Plan for Moms.
Each day, about 45 million women in this country show up to a job where they regularly work overtime, are paid nothing, and get no time off. Their job title is mother. It’s time to compensate them for their labor.
This is an important conversation, and requires some thought. A stipend for struggling moms, dads, and individuals in industries decimated by the Pandemic, cascade effects and a government caught up in partisan politics, is just a short term solution. Food insecurity is a real problem for many Americans. “I can’t breathe,” is a metaphor for these times. It’s in the Zeitgeist, because that’s how people feel, crushed by the system.
"It takes a village to raise a child" is an African proverb that is common sense. Healthy child rearing is more than just the responsibility of a single parent. It is the responsibility of our communities, our society, and our leaders. Parents that can’t breathe imprint children with anxiety, fear, and patterns that can take a lifetime to unravel. We are all parents, not just biological ones. We can do better.
Day 14: North County Food Bank #GivingChristmas